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Archive for February, 2010

It’s the smalls things

Five years ago someone (my fifty-year-old male boss actually!) told me the most efficient way of folding a fitted sheet. Simple brilliance! It really shouldn’t still give me a tingle of wonder when I fold a sheet now but the Fifties-housewife domestic goddess hidden, deeeep, inside me loves it (she’s a slattern, by the way, she should be ashamed of herself.)

Anyway, a second ray of illuminatingly obvious storage perfection shone on me today. I’m slightly apprehensive about mentioning it in case everyone already does it and the only possible comment that one could leave on this post is ‘Seriously, you don’t do that? Give your so-called inner housewife/slattern a slap from me’. But here we are anyway:

So, when you’re putting your (freshly pressed? Pfft!) underwear in your underwear drawer – in order to keep matching bras and panty-garment-type things together, to save the ‘getting ready in a rush sweary panic’ whereby all underwear scarpers, leaving you with one stripey sock, those pants with the snapped elastic and a terrifying tangle of opaque black tights – simply fasten the back strap of your bra through the leg hole of said panty-garments. Hurrah! They are now locked together forever in a tidy and organised union, or at least until your deign to wear them.

I know, it’s pathetic. I know I need to take delight in more significant things. I know this makes it seem as if the only delicates I wear are perfect matching sets (so not the case). But it made me happy!

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Things what I wants

I’m considering taking some holiday from work in the next couple of weeks so I have time to get making (and redecorating my house as we’re hoping to sell it soon but I’ll bypass that chore for now).

I don’t have a child by I can imagine a few who’d be delighted to have this completely amazing play kitchen made for them. Help is at hand here , thanks to the lovely Jane Little (there are other versions in her photostream too, v pretty!)

Please, someone tell me why I haven’t yet painted my own Matryoshka dolls ?

Or bought this pretty book on remaking dresses and set immediately to frantic work?

I also want to bake this cake. Now Then eat copious slices of it.

Gah, the leap from 4 working days to 5 has really taken its toll on my crafting time. Must rememdy that. Stat.

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I made it.

I feel like I’ve dragged myself here, to Friday, with sheer grit and brute (brute=hamster) force. I think it was the promise of spring last weekend, a broken promise that turned into a rather grey and busy week that has made it seem so lengthy.

But here we are. On Annie’s recommendation, I had Hasselback potatoes with dinner last night (delicious, by the way!) so I am heading into the weekend with satisfied taste buds. I’m also going to try Nick’s on Glasgow’s Hyndland Road for lunch on Sunday and have high hopes for that.

My lovely cousin is coming for lunch on Saturday, we’ll be eating this and then going out for coffee and cake and a visit to my favourite florist, here. Cake can be consumed freely as I’m now a fully-fledged gym member and celebrated this fact last night with a Zumba class. I was utterly atrocious at it (think attempting Latino-dancing, booty-shaking and much whooping… while also jogging on the spot) but it works, in that I left out of puff and red of face. Next week: circuits. I’ve been warned, sinisterly, of the horror of circuits. I’m brave though – see above for reference to sheer grit and brute/hamster force.

And finally, I’ll be scampering around town on the trail of my Glasgow Film Festival schedule – to see Rookies tonight and American:The Bill Hicks Story tomorrow night. Gentleman Broncos (last Monday) was really very good. Funny and weird, leaving you distinctly unsettled and unsure why. Very similar in style to Napoleon Dynamite, I’d say.

And so my lovelies – what are you doing with your weekend? And if it involves ironing/child-wrangling/walking around cold, wet forecourts looking for a new second-hand car – then what would you rather be doing with your weekend?

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A friend of mine is giving up caffeine for Lent. We’re not even 12 hours in and I can see him twitching with coffee withdrawal symptoms – a bad sign. I decided to support him by giving up chocolate.
40 days and 40 nights, people! I don’t know what I was thinking either. I don’t think I’m particularly chocoholic by nature but knowing I’m not supposed to eat it means that the only thoughts in my head are thus ‘Oooh, Green and Black’s maya gold… no wait, a Twix! Do Oreos count? I want a Flake!’ So cliched.

In an effort to draw my panting brain away from that, I’m concentraing on savoury delights. Recently I’ve made a couple of very easy, yummy things. One, these crash potatoes. They were part of a meal but I’d happily sit down to a big plate of just these chewy, crispy, sticky delights. (Fab blog there too.)
Next, this oven-baked thai rice curry. Not terribly exciting I suppose but I was bowled over by how easy and quick it was to make (very hand off!) and really rather tasty (thrown together for surprise visitors. I say surprise – they’d told us of their intentions to come over a week before but I’d forgotten. Hence ‘surprise!’)

And finally, I’m so looking forward to making this (going to do it for Mother’s Day lunch next month). I haven’t cooked ox cheeks before but have seen them in Waitrose and never been quite sure how to make them taste good. I’m hoping I’ll have conquered that soon…

NEWSFLASH: Just realised it’s National Chip Week! Chocolate, begone!

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Catching up

Right, I’m back at it. (Why is my life currently been run at a 30mins per hour speed so I only manage to ever do half of what I intend…? Including blogging.)

However – I have found a wee bit of time to do some of those things that I’ve really been meaning to do but, as they aren’t shouting loudly enough for my attention, have been languishing at the bottom of my list.

So – I have an address book! And it’s filling up nicely.
And I have a travel journal. I decided not to write retrospectively so it’s only got our trip to the Cotswolds in it so far but I’m sure that’ll pick up soon too (more on that later!)

I went to my favourite new antique place on Saturday and bought a fab 1930s mirror for my bedroom. I’m working on redecorating that room this week so here’s to three nights of sleeping on the sofa… (photos to follow! Not ones of me sleeping.)

I learned a poem for Burns’ Night. One that I felt was quite apt for the moment, with me being so needy and all. I studied this poem at school when I was eight years old and the idea of the friends you had then being your friends until you were really old seemed completely plausible. In fact, I couldn’t imagine not being friends with my ‘bestest pals’ forever. (Must facebook those people, it’s been a long time!)
So it’s recently I’ve come realise how special long-lasting friendships are and how hard we should all work to hang on to them.

John Anderson, my jo, John,
When we were first acquent;
Your locks were like the raven,
Your bonie brow was brent;
But now your brow is beld, John,
Your locks are like the snaw;
But blessings on your frosty pow,
John Anderson, my jo.

John Anderson, my jo, John,
We clamb the hill thegither;
And mony a cantie day, John,
We’ve had wi’ ane anither:
Now we maun totter down, John,
And hand in hand we’ll go,
And sleep thegither at the foot,
John Anderson, my jo.

And finally, in the spirit of indulgence and, importantly, 101 list ticking – I went for a lovely massage  at a new day spa . I may have dozed off at one point. I may have drooled very slightly onto the floor from where my face rested in the hole in the table. I may never admit to this though.

So. What have you been up to?

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I’m wearing ballet pumps today, red with big bows on (first time in 2010!)
I bought daffodils and tulips yesterday, they are living in a big bowl in the kitchen.
On Saturday, we ate scallops and langoustines and chips with garlic mayo while drowing ourselves in chilled prosecco, beside a window of bright blue sky and blinding sun.

Spring has sprung then?, nodding with knowledgeable smile.
Er, no, actually. Today is now very grey and wet and I’m wearing a scarf while I sit at my desk. My flowers are lies.

The only spring in my step is the anticipation of Wagamama for dinner tonight with friends, followed by a trip to the GFT to see Gentleman Broncos (with Jemaine from Flight of the Conchords. I am in love with everything about this show.)

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iFull

I’ve struggled with whether or not to post this as it’s my favourite secret haunt at the moment. The place I go for lunch every working day, often breakfast too. Secret, in that I make airily vague comments when colleagues ask where I ate each afternoon. “Oh, me? Just some coffee shop, up beside the, uh, near the post office, I think.”
It’s hard enough to get a seat at lunchtime without broadcasting it to other would-be diners. Although currently, unless a certain skinnyknatter drives down from Perthshire each day, I should be ok.

The place is called iFull. It’s a coffee shop/café on Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow. I’ve been going there almost every day for over a year and used to go sporadically before that. I’ve seen it through a few transitions and it was the rebirth when Mikey and Ros took over early this year, that confirmed me as an iFull-phile.

Homemade cake, the best chicken noodle soup I’ve ever had, hot and sticky pesto-chicken mozarella stuffed paninis and steaming mugs of light hot chocolate and piles of Delicious magazine back issues for me to peruse. What more could a girl want? Maybe gourmet crisps, handmade pasta lasagne, Stoat’s berry porridge, fruit cups, sushi, interesting salads and the fanciest cupcakes I’ve seen in quite a while? Oh yes, they’ve got those.

The staff are really very lovely too. Friendly, always helpful – they remember what I like or don’t like (no butter, no salad dressing, wholemeal bread rolls please, no salt in soup. Fussy, me?) It’s like having your mates chat to you while making your lunch. And then leaving you in peace while you eat it and read a magazine. And then, well, charging you for it. But very, very reasonably so.

I’m actually a wee bit in love with the place.

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